WASHINGTON – Sen. Jeff Sessions took a few minutes today to talk about his close friend and political adviser, Chuck Spurlock, who died this week at age 60 after a battle with cancer. Sessions made his comments in an interview as he left Washington to attend memorial services for Spurlock, his longtime state director.
Sessions and Spurlock had been a political team since 1994, when Spurlock went to work on Sessions’ campaign for attorney general. A mutual friend paired them up.
“It turned out be a great partnership,” Sessions said. “I just felt like whatever I was able to do, Chuck was a part of it. He helped make it happen.”
A state director manages a senator’s staff around the state, makes sure constituents get answers to their questions about Social Security or their VA benefits, and keeps close track of what people in the state want and need from Washington. Sessions said Spurlock was adept at all three, especially at monitoring Alabama residents’ priorities.
Asked if Spurlock was the kind of aide who would challenge him, Sessions laughed.
“Oh, yes. He could spot an issue coming up, and if he thought we might be going in a direction that he didn’t think was good, he would get the word up to Washington,” Sessions said. “He understood Alabama really well and I valued that insight.”
Sessions said Spurlock will be remembered for his leadership and high ethical standards.
“You can really sleep better at night when you have that kind of staff,” Sessions said. “He never put himself first. It was always about public service.”
Spurlock earned degrees from Duke and Vanderbilt. He returned to Duke for his cancer treatment. His family has asked that memorial donations go to the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke or First United Methodist Church in Montgomery.
Visitation is Friday at the First United Methodist Church in Montgomery at 10 a.m. A service will follow at 11 a.m.
– Mary Orndorff Troyan